BL Lacertae objects beyond redshift 1.3 – UV-to-NIR photometry and photometric redshift for Fermi/LAT blazars
Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik,
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Plasma Physik and Excellence Cluster, Boltzmannstrasse 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Universe Cluster, Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstraße 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
4 W.W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory & Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, USA
5 SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, StanfordUniversity, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
6 NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA
7 American River College, Physics & Astronomy Dpt., 4700 College Oak Drive, Sacramento, CA 95841, USA
8 Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Sternwarte 5, 07778 Tautenburg, Germany
9 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
10 Universitá degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, 20126 Milano, Italy
11 Department of Physics and Astronomy Dickinson College Carlisle, PA 17013, USA
12 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Received: 27 September 2011
Accepted: 19 November 2011
Context. Observations of the γ-ray sky with Fermi led to significant advances towards understanding blazars, the most extreme class of active galactic nuclei. A large fraction of the population detected by Fermi is formed by BL Lacertae (BL Lac) objects, whose sample has always suffered from a severe redshift incompleteness due to the quasi-featureless optical spectra.
Aims. Our goal is to provide a significant increase of the number of confirmed high-redshift BL Lac objects contained in the 2 LAC Fermi/LAT cataloge.
Methods. For 103 Fermi/LAT blazars, photometric redshifts using spectral energy distribution fitting have been obtained. The photometry includes 13 broad-band filters from the far ultraviolet to the near-IR observed with Swift/UVOT and the multi-channel imager GROND at the MPG/ESO 2.2 m telescope. Data have been taken quasi-simultaneously and the remaining source-intrinsic variability has been corrected for.
Results. We release the UV-to-near-IR 13-band photometry for all 103 sources and provide redshift constraints for 75 sources without previously known redshift. Out of those, eight have reliable photometric redshifts at z1.3, while for the other 67 sources we provide upper limits. Six of the former eight are BL Lac objects, which quadruples the sample of confirmed high-redshift BL Lac. This includes three sources with redshifts higher than the previous record for BL Lac, including CRATES J0402-2615, with the best-fit solution at z ≈ 1.9.
Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts / techniques: photometric / BL Lacertae objects: general
© ESO, 2012